Once a month we’re featuring a new family-friendly dish from the Hatfields for our Kids Can Cook section. The dairy-free teen cooking star is Katherine and this week she and her “mama”, Sarah, are showing the little ones how to make classic Puppy Chow without dairy, gluten, and nuts!
Puppy Chow, or Muddy Buddies, is a popular kid treat that is simple to make, and simple to make dairy free and allergy friendly! Of course we used all dairy-free ingredients in this recipe, but I also included options to use gluten-free rice squares cereal (many brands are gluten free) and sunflower seed butter for a snack mix that is also gluten-free and nut-free. These substitutions make these Muddy Buddies a great choice for school parties and other celebrations, not just for a snack at home.
Because all of the cooking is done in the microwave, Puppy Chow is a great first cooking experience for younger children. An older sibling can help as needed with the measuring, pouring, and handling the warm bowl. My kids had a three-day weekend last week, and making this recipe with was a fun activity on their day off. Shaking the cereal mixture in a plastic bag to coat it with powdered sugar is especially entertaining. The melted chocolate and powdered sugar can be a little messy, so wear an apron and roll up your sleeves!
The only problem with this recipe’s simplicity is that it’s almost too easy to make another batch when the first one is gone …
Special Diet Notes: Puppy Chow Snack Mix
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, optionally peanut-free, optionally soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian.
- 9 cups dairy-free, gluten-free rice squares cereal
- 1 cup dairy-free semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter or sunflower seed butter (for nut free)
- ¼ cup coconut oil or dairy-free buttery spread/ margarine
- ⅛ teaspoon salt (omit if using buttery spread)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- Measure the cereal into a large bowl.
- In a medium microwaveable bowl, microwave the chocolate chips, nut butter, coconut oil or buttery spread, and salt (if using) on HIGH for 1 minute. Vigorously stir the chocolate mixture. Microwave in additional thirty-second increments, stirring vigorously in between, until the mixture is smooth when stirred. Usually this takes a total of one minute. Do not overheat it or the chocolate will scorch.
- Stir the vanilla into the chocolate mixture, and pour it over the cereal. Stir until evenly coated.
- Pour the cereal mixture into a 2-gallon zip top plastic bag. Add the powdered sugar, seal the bag, and shake until the cereal is coated with the powdered sugar.
- Spread the mixture onto parchment paper, and let it cool before serving. It can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.